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Hyphen New Series


In collaboration with the graphic design practice Polimekanos we are planning to publish books that can be placed in areas contingent to design, which illuminate design, and which are also good contributions to their own fields. The present programme of publishing on design will continue alongside the new branch. The first of this Hyphen New Series, as we are calling it, is Morton Feldman says: a book of interviews with and lectures by the American composer Morton Feldman. It will be launched on Friday 24 March at the Conway Hall in London, with a concert of Feldman’s music, readings from the book, and a reception.

Next books


We now have printed sheets of The stroke; finished copies should be available in Europe before the end of the month. Typography papers 6 is running as late as its quality will be high; we expect finished copies in December.

The stroke


A new forthcoming title is added to this website today: an English-language edition of Gerrit Noordzij’s De streek. The book appeared first in Dutch in 1985 and was reprinted in 1991. As Noordzij explains in his foreword to the original book, it takes some steps on from his earlier work, the English-language The stroke of the pen (published by the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, 1982). For our edition, the Dutch text of 1985 has been translated by Peter Enneson (in Toronto), working in dialogue with Noordzij. We hope to publish by late September.

Representation in the UK


From this month, Hyphen Press books are represented to the book-trade by Troika.

Plans for the new year


As well as Typography papers 6, expected now in early summer of this year, we are working on two new titles: the first English-language edition of a work of fundamental thinking, and an extended and fully documented critique of one of the eternally unresolved topics of typography. Full details will be revealed in due course.

Publishing ‘Typography papers’


We are very pleased to announce that Hyphen Press is taking over publication of Typography papers: the distinguished, occasional, book-length work from the Department of Typography, University of Reading. In-print back numbers can now be ordered from Central Books. The next issue (number 6) is due for publication in spring 2005.

‘Modern typography’ 2 published


The much delayed second edition of Robin Kinross’s Modern typography is now finished and available.

Nordic distribution


Coen Sligting in Amsterdam now has a representative in the Nordic countries. Booksellers in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, should send requests for books and orders to sligting[at]xs4all.nl.

A new Martens book


The first ‘Martens book’ is out of print now, and we will not reprint it. But this new title is just going into production. It should be in the shops before summer begins.

The new year


Greetings to friends and colleagues for the new year. Instead of a greetings card, you may like to look at a snowy image of the place in which we now work, run by Workplace Co-operative 115 Ltd. The project is shown also in the current (December 2003) issue of Domus magazine, with an article by Tanya Harrod on the building and the intentions behind it. New titles are in the pipeline for publication by Hyphen in 2004–5, and will be announced here soon

Buying our books


All Hyphen Press books can now be bought direct from the website of our UK distributor, Central Books.

‘Designing books’ in paperback


A paperback edition of Jost Hochuli’s long-lasting Designing books is now available in Europe. It will be released in North and South America later in the year.

‘Type spaces’


The next Hyphen Press title to be published will be Peter Burnhill’s Type spaces. Page make-up and proofing of the book is in its final stages.

Architecture & design publishing


We are posting a new column today. This is a survey, written by Linda Eerme and Robin Kinross for Domus magazine, of the present state of publishing in architecture and design.

‘A view of early typography’


Our reprint of Harry Carter’s A view of early typography: up to about 1600 is published in Europe today. In some weeks’ time copies will be available in North and South America, via Princeton Architectural Press, and in Australia, via Books at Manic.

New titles


The new editions of Karel Martens: printed matter / drukwerk and of Norman Potter’s What is a designer are now finished and have been published in Europe. Copies of both titles are on their way to the USA and will be available this spring in North and South America through Princeton Architectural Press.

New distribution arrangements


In North and South America, all Hyphen Press titles are now distributed by Princeton Architectural Press. In Australia, all titles are distributed by Books at Manic.

This site


After too many months of languishing in outdated and bug-filled form, this website now reappears in a ‘second edition’, thanks to the energy and commitment of designer-programmer Matt Patterson. All the information has been checked through and updated. We hope that visitors find it easier and more consistent in use. Two new ‘columns’ have been added, and we plan to add to this section more regularly

Out of slumber


It is almost a year since the last news item was added. Several small bits of information on the site are out of date, and there are aspects of its design and functioning that need attention. We are now working on an overhaul, and hope to put up a ‘second edition’ in September. There will be two new columns, links to Amazon, and the whole thing will be reprogrammed to help viewing and also maintenance of the site. Meanwhile, we can report that Anthony Froshaug is with the printer. The book will be published in the UK on 12 October. We are planning an open meeting to launch the book: on 10 October at the Conway Hall, London WC1. Advance copies may also be available at the ATypI conference in Leipzig (we hope this event will happen!).

Future publications


We are working hard towards publication of the next books, Anthony Froshaug and Typeform dialogues. They will appear in 2000. Please have patience, and understanding for the sisyphean labours of the small publisher. The wait will be worth it, we are sure. Beyond these books, we are planning a series of small-format paperbacks that will include a revised edition of What is a designer, a new edition of Modern typography, and other texts that have proved themselves.

The new website


The Hyphen Press website appears today in a new form. There are many added and altered features, providing much content beyond the simple description of the books we publish. The old ‘Column’ section – which in retrospect seems to have been a sort of proto-blog – is now made more visible, and will become a backbone of the new website. It is now called ‘Journal’, and includes short pieces of news about Hyphen activities, comments on and links to things that interest us, and some longer articles. All the text on the site is searchable. The books are now shown in photographs, rather than scans, and we will provide downloads of sample pages. Later this year we plan to add a shop from which books can be bought online. Read more

London Book Fair


We are taking part in the London Book Fair, at Earls Court, from 16 to 18 April. Find our books at the stand of our representatives, Troika, stand Z640.

The shop is open


From today you can buy books directly from this website. We hope this service will be useful, especially to buyers who live away from the metropolis, and in areas that our distributors do not reach. (Customers in North and South America, Australia, the Netherlands, should still buy from bookshops or from our distributors there.) Please let us know what you think of the service.

‘Counterpunch’: the second edition


Prompted by this nice review, we can confirm that a second edition of the book is in preparation. We hope to publish later this year: busy schedules permitting. Fred Smeijers is revising the text, to take account of new evidence and to include some of his further thoughts. The original files of the book have been lost, so we would have had to remake the pages in any event. This necessary fresh start is stimulating plans for the design of the new edition.

New titles


We are announcing some new titles for publication in the course of 2008, which will add more than just numbers to the list. Read more

UK distribution


From the beginning of April our books will be distributed in the UK by Publishers Group UK. After many years with Central Books we are sad to be leaving them. But PGUK will provide a combined sales and warehousing service: the books should get into the shops more.

London Book Fair


We are present at the London Book Fair (14–16 April) c/o our new UK distributor, Publishers Group UK. Go to stand i205 to see some books and the new catalogue.

Hyphen Press catalogue & almanack 2008


We have just received finished copies of our new catalogue of books. This is the first full printed catalogue we have made. Every in-print title is represented, in specially made photographs, and there is a retrospective display of the covers of all the titles we have produced. Bound into the booklet is an ‘almanack’ of short texts. Read more

Martens in London


Among the speakers at the Friends of St Bride Library Conference on 15 and 16 May is Karel Martens. He will show some of his (very) short movies and then engage in unpremeditated dialogue with Robin Kinross.

Hochuli and tools for reading


Jost Hochuli, author of Designing books and Detail in typography, is responsible for an exhibition of the remarkable book production of his home town of St Gallen. While his own work is also shown, Hochuli insists that ‘Buchgestaltung in St Gallen’ is an exhibition of, as he puts it, work by his close friends Rudolf Hostettler and Max Koller, by his former students and other colleagues. ‘Buchgestaltung in St Gallen’ opened in April at the book fair in Geneva, but will be shown in St Gallen itself from 7 to 29 June 2008. Read more

Edward Wright


We are now selling copies of the book Edward Wright: readings, writings, published last year by the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading.

‘Counterpunch’ discovery


Not for the first time in the history of publishing, a book that had been declared ‘out of print’ makes a return to availability. We have discovered 25 copies of Counterpunch (the edition of 1996) at the bottom of a box, covered by copies of another book. We are glad to be able to sell these now from this website (only). After these copies have sold, there really will be none left. Read more

‘Detail in typography’ arrived

Large detail arrived


Copies of Hochuli’s Detail in typography have arrived in London. The book is officially published later this month. We are very pleased with the production qualities of the book. The binding, especially, is a marvel of industrial production: completely strong and completely flexible. Read more



Now that we are preparing to publish CDs, a reader has suggested that we consider selling Swiss chocolate (‘in various point sizes’) and sweaters (‘Norman-Potter-style pullover with cross-patterns’). These are good ideas. But we will probably draw the line at E.C. Large T-shirts.

Trying to explain


On 15 October, in a talk at this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival, Robin Kinross will attempt to explain what typography is.

E.C. Large novels have arrived

Large ecl arrived


We have received our first copies of Sugar in the air and Asleep in the afternoon. Our accompanying book, God’s amateur, is with the printers now: we expect an advance supply of it in a few days’ time. The three books will be formally published in early December, after the main shipment of the novels is with our UK distributor. Read more

Events at Somerset House


Next week Stuart Bailey and David Reinfurt – Dexter Sinister – present three nights of talks at Somerset House in London, which will create the content for the next issue of Dot Dot Dot (no. 17). Read more

An interview with Nicolette Moonen

Nicolette Moonen and Robin Kinross / 2008.10.26

Next month Hyphen Press Music is publishing its first CD: ‘Bach arranging and arranged’ by The Bach Players. In this conversation Nicolette Moonen, the artistic director of the group, talks about the background to the recording. Read more

Jost Hochuli in London


On Thursday 27 November at 7 pm Jost Hochuli will give a lecture on ‘Systematic book design?’ – the question mark is important here – at the St Bride Foundation. This is a rare occasion and we look forward to hearing Jost Hochuli’s latest thoughts, which will doubtless be sharp and precise. Hyphen Press will be present and Hochuli’s two books Designing books and Detail in typography will be on sale. For more information, go here.

Our first CD

Large hpm 001 1


Bach arranging and arranged, the first recording by The Bach Players, and the first issue from Hyphen Press Music, is now finished and awaiting formal release next month. Read more

Our first CD (2)


Early public reactions to our first CD – given the hopeful catalogue number HMP 001 – have been encouraging. Read more

Kinross at the KB


From this week to the end of June, Robin Kinross is living and working in the Netherlands: taking up this year’s Fellowship at the Konkinklijke Bibliotheek [Royal Library]. The position is run jointly by the KB and the NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences). Building on a theme of his book Modern typography, Kinross is doing research on paper sizes and their standardization. His only duty is to prepare a public lecture on his topic, to be delivered (and also published as a pamphlet) in June. Meanwhile the Hyphen Press office is being run by his assistant, Roland Früh. Work on the new books goes on. The transformer has this week reached page-proof stage.

Anthony Froshaug: material words / making the book

Jane Howard & Robin Kinross / 2009.02.21

A recent tidying of the office turned up an offprint from the journal ‘Matrix’ (no. 21, 2001), which published two pieces written on the occasion of the publication of our book ‘Anthony Froshaug’. Looking at them again, they seem worth reviving – to explain something of the process by which that book was made (just as this piece explains how another of our books came into the world). Read more

Back online


This website has been offline for the last three days, for inexplicable technical reasons, but is now restored.

Information Design Conference 2009


From 2 to 3 April the Information Design Association in the UK is holding a two-day conference at the University of Greenwich, London – admirers of Christopher Wren’s work will have good reasons to go and then get distracted. Read more

‘Typography papers’ 8


For a foretaste of Typography papers 8, have a look at Paul Stiff’s ‘Mitteleuropa and Bethnal Green’ (‘Mitteleuropa’ = Central Europe). TP8 is a special issue of the irregular but still serial publication, and for once it will carry a title or subtitle: ‘Modern typography in Britain: graphic design, politics and society’.

Our first CD (4)


‘Einzelgängers’ – it takes one to know one. Hyphen Press Music is joint winner of the best record label of 2009 in the Prelude Classical Music Awards 2009. This is the annual poll conducted by Kees Koudstal, who is both chairman of the jury and its only member.

‘Transformer’ arrived

Large transformer arrived


We now have copies of this book, which this month goes on sale generally in the UK, the Netherlands, and elsewhere in Europe. It is of course also for sale from our website. Those in North America – to whom we can’t sell from the website – will need to wait at least a couple of months before the books reach our distributor’s warehouse there. The book joins the Hyphen small-format paperback series: this one comes with flaps and an Otabind binding. Read more

‘Typography papers’ 8 (update)


The next Hyphen book, Modern typography in Britain: graphic design, politics, and society – a special issue of Typography papers (no. 8) – is now at the printers. It will be published in September.

‘Modern typography’ in translation

Large mt translated


One of the most pleasing aspects of publishing is to see translated editions of your books appearing. Italian, Spanish, and now Korean editions of Modern typography have been made in recent years. Meanwhile our own second edition of the work is out of print and awaiting a reprint, with corrections and small updatings. We hope that that book can be made later this year. Read more

On sale in Berlin


At Motto, in Berlin-Kreuzberg: here

‘Type spaces’ discovery

Large typespaces 200909


In another of those warehouse discoveries, a few copies of the late Peter Burnhill’s Type spaces have come to light, after we had declared it out of print here (our North American distributor still has some left). There are several reasons to get hold of this book, which we are unlikely now to reprint. The most important reason is that, in effect, it puts forward a new theory of typography. Along the way, you can find advice on how to determine linespacing (‘leading’); after digesting this you will never need to spend time agonizing over this fundament of text-setting. And the book is a model of industrial production, especially in its binding. These last few copies are for sale only from this website. Read more

‘Modern typography in Britain’ arrived

Large tp8 arrived


This week we received copies of Modern typography in Britain: a very packed and rich set of discussions, which will surely come to define its still too little comprehended subject. The book is at the same time Typography papers 8, and continues Typography papers’s work of publishing fully serious, lively and comprehensible articles. Read more

Our second CD

Large hpm 002 1


Every one a chaconne, the second recording by The Bach Players has just arrived in physical form and will be launched publicly at the group’s concerts in Cork, Norwich, and London in the coming week. Read more

Hyphen in Amsterdam


Through this month and next, some of our core books are on display and for sale at the Kunstverein in Amsterdam: here

The new CD launched


A report of the launch of HPM 002 for subscribers and friends is here

Desmond Jeffery the printer


An exhibition of the work of the English printer Desmond Jeffery opens at the St Bride Library in London tonight. This is the first chance for the public to see something of his production. Read more

E.C. Large in Zurich


On Thursday 5 November (while the English are busy letting off fireworks), if you are in Zurich there is a chance to learn more about E.C. Large. Roland Früh will be at the Corner College, to present our books by and about Large. The mycologist Patrick Romanens will also be talking. Our books will be on sale, and those attending will have a rare chance to see some of Large’s paintings of British toadstools.

Hyphen in Paris


It has always been difficult to see our books in France. But copies of most of them are now on sale at Section 7 Books in Paris. For more about this initiative, read this discussion.

Hyphen Press catalogue & almanack 2009–2010

Large catalogue 2009 spread1


The Hyphen Press catalogue for 2009–2010 was ready (as is traditional) just in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair. New books are announced here, and every in-print title is shown too. As with last year’s catalogue, at the centre is an ‘almanack’ of texts and images that relate to our new publications. Read more

‘At ...’ arrived

Large at arrived


We have received copies of the next book, Peter Campbell’s At …. This goes on sale officially at the end of this month. At … is a collection of the author’s columns about art, applied art, buildings, townscape, nature, and more, written for the London Review of Books. Campbell is a typographer and book designer, and illustrator, as well as now someone who writes for publication, and his work – the design, drawing, and writing – fits well with our idea of what aesthetics might be and do. The form of our book tries to live up to the standard of its text: accessible, humane, serviceable, well-made. Printed by Die Keure in Bruges, the binding is by Binderij Hexspoor and uses their Otabind process. Read more

A great venture

Large hpm002


Every one a chaconne, the new release from Hyphen Press Music, is Editor’s Choice of new vocal CDs – with five stars (= ‘exceptional’) – in the January 2010 issue of Classic FM magazine. Opening his perceptive remarks, Andrew Stewart writes: ’There’s something about the openness of sound, the sheer quality of music-making and the sense of connection between performers and composers that makes this a very special recording.’ Elsewhere, the magazine suggests: ’It’s heartening in these cash-strapped times to see our Editor’s Choice slot occupied by a brand-new British label. If you choose to buy the recording, you’ll be supporting a great venture and your ears will be in for a treat, too.’

The new year


Thanks to everyone who sent greetings and good wishes for the new year. If we haven’t acknowledged you, it’s only because we’re buried in the processes of making and selling books and CDs. This year should see at least one major new work published (to be announced here soon), and the reappearance of some tried-and-tested books from the back catalogue.

Our CDs


Last Saturday morning, the two Bach Players CDs were included in a roundup of recent Bach recordings on BBC Radio 3’s ‘CD Review’ programme (one can listen back to this on the BBC website for the rest of this week). Presenter Andrew McGregor had good words to say about the discs, and he found time to play three whole tracks to represent their great diversity of material. He also summed up why these discs are different from the average classical music CD: each is shaped by an idea, and the varied component parts work together to represent that idea. So they go a different route from the familiar ones of presenting similar pieces by a single composer, or stringing together pieces to showcase a certain artist. McGregor said: ’It’s a lovely way of providing a different kind of context for Bach’s music, especially with Hugh Wood’s thoughtfully illuminating notes. The Bach Players have gone an unusual route with these recordings, teaming up not with an established label but with a book publisher specializing in design – Hyphen Press. Bach arranging and arranged is the first volume, Every one a chaconne is the second; I hope there’ll be more.’ There will.

Price changes: less good news


Books are zero-rated for Value Aded Tax in the UK, but CDs are not. From this week, the rate of VAT on CDs goes up from 15 to 17.5 per cent. This has prompted us to raise the price of the Hyphen Press Music CDs from £14 to £15. But, given the present exchange rates of the UK-pound to the euro and most other currencies, this may not mean much to buyers outside the UK: one would still pay significantly more on the European continent for CDs of this kind.

Price change: good news

Large 024 tn


As from today we are reducing the price of Fred Smeijers’s Type now, from £17.50 to £10. The book was made on the occasion of the award of the Gerrit Noordzij prize to Smeijers and surveys his work up to then (November 2003). Given Fred’s remarkable productivity as a designer, one might say that this survey is out of date. But a large part of the book is addressed more generally to the conditions of making typefaces now, culminating in a manifesto for designers in the digital age. This discussion, we think, hasn’t been superseded – or discussed enough. So the book is still worth getting. We are working now on a second edition of Fred Smeijers’s Counterpunch. The changes will be significant: certainly enough to make those who have the first edition want to have the second too.

Design for music / Music and design


This Friday the lively events programme at the St Bride Library offers a conference on Design for music / Music and design. Another strong reason to get to St Bride’s this week: to catch the splendid ‘Designing information before designers’ exhibition before it closes.

Hyphen Press in Birmingham


International Project Space, at Bourneville (Birmingham, UK), is the host for a Hyphen Press exhibition opening on 20 March and running through to 8 May. Read more

Peter Campbell in conversation


On 24 March Peter Campbell will be in conversation with Julian Bell, another painter and writer about art, at the London Review Bookshop.

St Gallen comes to London


The exhibition ‘Book design in St Gallen’ opens this week at the St Bride Library and runs for two short weeks. It is a chance to see material that will not be around ever again in London, and to hear talks about the subject. This Thursday Jost Hochuli will speak at St Bride’s, and on Wednesday 17 March a gang of the usual suspects will offer their views. Read more

St Gallen comes to London (2)

Large stgallen stbride 1


The exhibition was opened last Thursday with Jost Hochuli’s presentation of the topic – a wide-ranging history of book-making in St Gallen. A set of demountable cases came from Switzerland as part of the exhibition. The Library’s own cases have been removed to accommodate this. This familiar exhibition room has, for the moment, a surprisingly different feel. Read more

International Project Space exhibition

Large ips reading jc


Our exhibition at International Project Space opened last Saturday and will be there until 8 May. The show could be an occasion for a visit to the model village of Bourneville. In some respects the exhibition tries to be a model too. Of necessity it is small, but it has a certain argument, and shows not just the books we have published, but also some of those that have provided inspiration; one case is devoted to working materials. Visitors can sit and look through a selection of the books, and they can also listen to some of the music we publish and distribute. Read more

CD distribution


As from today, our CDs are being distributed to the trade by Harmonia Mundi UK. We will still, of course, be selling them from this website and at concerts and other events.

Exhibition pamphlet posted

Large ips publication posted


The pamphlet can be seen here at the Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem, posted in a way that makes sense. (Thanks to KM.) Read more

A must-read critic


Along with (among others) Pauline Kael, James Wood, and Susan Sontag, Peter Campbell is recommended by the The Guardian‘s Andrew Dickson as a must-read critic. He writes: ’Campbell’s fortnightly visual art reviews for the London Review of Books are models of quietly spoken elegance’.



We have opened a twitter account, with the promise to restrict it to hard news.

‘Subterranean modernism’

Robin Kinross / 2010.07.01

Idea magazine is pleasantly print-fixed: none of the words it publishes are put online, so anyone wanting a taste of it simply has to go out and find a copy. The current issue, no. 341, has an article that refers to Hyphen Press and its efforts. This essay, ‘Subterranean modernism’ by Randy Nakamura and Ian Lynam, is perhaps the first published piece by unconnected observers to address ideas that we’ve been busy with for now 30 years. This is very pleasing.1 Read more

Interview about Hyphen Press

Large interview hyphen


Last December, Michel Aphesbero and Thomas Boutoux came to London to interview Robin Kinross, for the rosab.net web-magazine, made at the École des beaux-arts de Bordeaux. The interview lasts for 51 minutes and is slow stuff, but has things not told in public before. But first you have to find it: wait for the page to load, then zoom out – a lot!, then scroll to the left and you will see ‘A studio visit to Robin Kinross in London’.

‘From hieroglyphics to Isotype’ arrived

Large fhti arrived


Copies of Otto Neurath’s ‘visual autobiography’ arrived in London a few days ago. The book has been designed and its pages made by one of its editors, Christopher Burke; it was printed by Die Keure in Bruges and bound by SVK Boekbinderij, also in Belgium. Unusually for us, the book is a cloth-covered hardback, with a loose jacket. We felt that we should give this degree of permanence to the first full publication of Neurath’s text. Three different papers are used in the book, to distinguish and support the three main sections: the introductory material, Neurath’s text, and an appendix that shows a sample of his extraordinary collection of visual material. The book goes on sale in Europe at the end of this month. Copies are now just starting their journey by ship to our distributors in North America. Read more

‘Printed matter’ 3

Large printedmatter 3 proofs


The third edition of Karel Martens’s Printed matter / Drukwerk is being printed by Thoben in Nijmegen now; sheets will then be sent to the binders, Hendricks–Lützenkirchen in Kleve, across the border in Germany. The binding will be done in batches and will take some weeks, but we should have copies at the end of this month – just in time for the Frankfurt bookfair. Read more

‘Printed matter’ 3 (update 1)


We have had many enquiries about this book. So, further to the last post here: the first batch of books has been bound and is now waiting to be put into boxes. Boxes of the right size are being made to fit a reasonable number of copies of the book. It will be some weeks from now before the books are packed and before they reach the warehouses of the various distributors.

‘Modern typography’ reprinted

Large 018 mt


The book Modern typography has just been reprinted and copies are on sale now. We have made corrections and updates in the text, and have taken to the chance to vary some of the pictures in the ‘Examples’ chapter.

‘Printed matter’ 3 (update 2)


We do now have copies of the new edition of Printed matter / Drukwerk in the office. North Americans, Australians, New Zealanders please note: we have distributors in your territories and copies are even now on their way there. Copies of this book have been with our Dutch distributor for some days already. UK-residing readers: you don’t need to go up the Amazon: please use your local bookshop; or we can supply to the more far-flung locations. We have made a lot of copies.

Recent production


Three books and a music CD have been published in the last couple of months. There will be a pause for breath now. The first books in 2011 should be the much-delayed book by Bollnow, Fred Smeijers’s revised Counterpunch, and the reprinted Unjustified texts.

‘From hieroglyphics to Isotype’: book launch


On Thursday 20 January, thanks to the kind hospitality of the Austrian Cultural Forum in London, we are launching From hieroglyphics to Isotype. The ACF in Knightsbridge is a short walk away from the Victoria & Albert Museum, where, until 13 March, you can see the splendid exhibition Isotype: International Picture Language. This show makes an excellent introduction to Isotype; also a substantial one, illustrated and embodied in a good sample of material from the Isotype archive at the University of Reading.

‘From hieroglyphics to Isotype’: book launch (report)


A short report, with the introductory remarks by Robin Kinross and Eric Kindel, and Christopher Burke’s more substantial exposition of the making of our edition, can now be found on the ‘Isotype revisited’ website.

Our fourth CD

Large hpm 004 arrived


Copies of our fourth CD, Italy versus France by The Bach Players, arrived in the office this week. It will be released to the trade in the UK on 28 March. Meanwhile, copies will be on sale at the group’s concerts this month, in Edinburgh, Warwick and Brighton. Read more

Paul Stiff


Paul Stiff died in Reading last Saturday. He was a great friend, over 35 years, and shared in much of what has issued from Hyphen Press – especially, of course, Typography papers. A full account of him and his work will be published here in due course. Meanwhile, merely following the necessity of editorial-update, his too-brief author’s description has been put into the past tense.

‘Human space’ arrived

Large bollnow arrived


Human space, our edition of O.F. Bollnow’s Mensch und Raum, is at last finished. We signed the contract with the publishers of the originating edition, Verlag W. Kohlhammer, in December 2005! Apart from the work of translating the text, making this edition proved to be a demanding task, with a whole set of knotty editorial problems to be resolved. But we are pleased with the final result. Our translation, by Christine Shuttleworth, aims for an ordinary, jargon-free text. So too, Joseph Kohlmaier’s afterword goes to the heart of the book’s present status, opening it up to a wide audience, and passing beyond the specialists who may lay claim to it. Read more

‘Designing books’: out of print


The original hardback edition (1996) and the subsequent paperback edition (2003, reprinted 2007) of this book have now sold out. Despite its popularity, we have decided to let the book stay out of print now. While the central part of the work (‘Designing books’) remains useful, we feel that the selection of books used to illustrate the discussion could be revised. The first part (‘Book design as a school of thought’) was originally a ‘pièce d’occasion’, though it surely remains valid. The third part (‘Books designed by Jost Hochuli’) has certainly been superseded by Jost Hochuli: printed matter, mainly books , published by Niggli Verlag. We should add that copies of the German-language edition of this work, Bücher machen , published by VGS St. Gallen, are still available.

An index to the journal


One way of finding text on this website is via the search function (in the right column of every page). This will get you to any word that has been written anywhere on the website. Here is a more intelligible and selective guide: an index to the main, discursive pieces in the journal pages, to date (end-June 2011). Pieces have been grouped rather crudely by theme, and then are alphabetically ordered by title. (See now the updated index here.) Read more

Price reductions


We have reduced the prices of these books: Models & Constructs, Anthony Froshaug, and A view of early typography.

Isotype: a new book

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We are working on a book, with the title Isotype, which will provide an extensive and detailed history of the work in graphic communication produced under the direction of Otto Neurath. This is a collection of freshly written and fully illustrated essays, supplemented by documents published for the first time in English translation or in transcription. The full extent of Isotype work is covered, from 1925 in Vienna, through the years in The Hague (1934–40), to the period in England up to the closure of production in 1971. The book contains discussion of the beginnings of the work in Vienna, its ‘graphic language’, and its connections with artistic production of that time. There are accounts of the uses to which Isotype was put in the USSR, in the USA, and in Africa. Isotype in film and in children’s books are considered in other contributions. Authors of these essays are Benjamin Benus, Christopher Burke, Hisayasu Ihara, Eric Kindel, Robin Kinross, Emma Minns, and Sue Walker. Read more

‘Counterpunch’: second edition at the printer

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The long-delayed and much-anticipated second edition of this book is now in the last stages of production: it was printed yesterday and now goes to the binder. We expect that copies will go on sale in Europe at the end of this month. Read more

At Frankfurt 2011


This week at the Frankfurt Book Fair our books will be at the stand of our Dutch distributor, Coen Sligting: Halle 4.1, N547. You can see an advance copy of David Wild’s Jazzpaths, as well as all copies of the recent titles. Further, Coen Sligting will have copies of our catalogue & almanack for 2011–2012.

About Peter Campbell’s writings

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Robin Kinross / 2011.10.26

Peter Campbell died yesterday at his home, after being diagnosed last year with cancer. He was a special man, both in his nature and in the combination of his talents. We were very glad to publish his writings, and to add him to the list of Hyphen authors, who seem often to be people whom the world finds it hard to pin down. We expect fuller accounts of him will be published, but meanwhile we can give here the ‘afterword’ to ‘At …’, a collection of his reviews from the ‘London Review of Books’. (This also allows us to correct the description of the context of the start of the ‘London Review of Books’, which was badly muddled in the book’s text.) Read more

‘Jazzpaths’ exhibition

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An exhibition of photographs and photomontages by David Wild opens this week at the Beardsmore Gallery in Kentish Town, London, and runs until 10 December. Publication of Jazzpaths, his ‘American photomemento’, which includes all these images and much more, is set for 1 December. Read more

‘Type spaces’ sold out in Europe

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We have sold the last copy of Peter Burnhill’s book Type spaces. Our North American distributor, Princeton Architectural Press, still has some copies left.

A pause, and greetings


Our office is now closed for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Any orders made on the website will be gratefully received during this period – but the books/CDs cannot be posted to you until the first week of January. Greetings of the season!

Twitter fascination

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Postings in this journal column have been light over the last few months. This is partly just because we’ve been busy. But it is partly due to having opened a Twitter account (@hyphenpress). We don’t put out much there either, but the fascination of Twitter has certainly taken up energy that might have been put into this column. Ideally one should tweet there and post here, and there are some remorseless bloggers who only tweet to announce their new blog posts. The more interesting course seems to be to use Twitter for light, quick messages with real content, and these blog or journal postings for more extended and longer, more lasting things. That’s what we will try for.

Shipping costs within the UK


Until now we have had a policy of not charging UK customers for the carriage of books and CDs bought from this website. But, on Monday, the Royal Mail is raising its charges markedly. Postage costs will represent an even larger proportion of a purchase – and we have decided now to introduce charges to cover our costs.

They order these things better in France

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The photograph below records the entrance space at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, last week, where Robin Kinross gave a ‘conférence’ on the occasion of the publication of the French edition of Modern typography. He also took part in a radio discussion for France Culture, to be broadcast at lunchtime on 28 May. Such serious attention in the public realm to typography is unusual. In the Anglo-Saxon world, it’s unheard of. Read more

In Vienna


Next week in Vienna, two events hosted by the Typographische Gesellschaft Austria take place: a workshop with Jost Hochuli (Monday 11 to Friday 15) and a talk by Robin Kinross on ‘Design for meaning’ (Wednesday 13). More details here.

‘Autonomy’ arrived

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Some finished copies of our next book, Autonomy: the cover designs of ‘Anarchy’ 1961–1970 were delivered to the office this morning. This is the culmination of several years of work by the book’s editor Daniel Poyner; he was joined by designer Peter Brawne and sub-editor Robin Kinross to form a group of three people who made the final book. The result feels like a very solid (820 gm) and well-manufactured contribution to graphic and political culture. It has been printed by Die Keure in Bruges and bound by Hexspoor at Boxtel in the Netherlands, using the Otabind process with cold glue. The book stays flat at every opening: essential for the central sections of the book in which we show back-and-front covers of all 118 issues of the journal as double-page spreads. Autonomy will be published formally on 15 November. It should put in its first public appearance tomorrow at the Anarchist Bookfair in London (go to the stands of Housmans Bookshop and Freedom Press). Read more

Book of the year


Ross Bradshaw’s recommendation of Autonomy: here

‘Typeform dialogues’

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We have today posted – free to download – a document that gathers materials from the Typeform dialogues project, carried out by Eric Kindel, Catherine Dixon, and others at Central Saint Martins, London, in 1994–8 and afterwards. (Update: this document is here.)

Talking about Colin Ward and ‘Anarchy’: an event at Housmans

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On Saturday 9 February (6.30 pm), our book Autonomy is the subject of an event at Housmans Bookshop in London. Daniel Poyner will introduce the book and Richard Hollis will talk about the cover designs of Anarchy. Ken Worpole will talk about this book and also about the recent collection of Colin Ward’s writings Talking green, from Five Leaves. Anything to do with Colin Ward seems to pull in a crowd these days, so if you want to come, be sure to reserve a seat by writing to Nik @ housmans.com.

Autonomy at Housmans

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We were part of a successful and good-spirited event at Housmans bookshop in London last night. The occasion was the publication of our book Autonomy, and the posthumous collection of Colin Ward’s writings on ecological themes: Talking green. Someone from the shop had warned that Colin Ward – who died in 2010, after a very full life as architect, writer, editor, disseminator, doer – always brings the crowds in. The shop was packed out, with all seats taken, and people standing and sitting on the floor. As our introducer for the event remarked, this crowd, more than any crowd, ought to be able to self-organize the seating problem, and they did. Read more

Bread and Roses Award 2013 shortlist

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We are delighted that Autonomy, edited by Daniel Poyner, is among the books shortlisted for this year’s Bread and Roses Award. The book finally chosen for the award, by a panel of three, will be announced on 11 May at the London Radical Bookfair in the good old Conway Hall.

New distributor for our CDs


From next month our CDs will be distributed by Codaex. Through the various Codaex partners we will for the first time be able to reach shops in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, as well as the UK.

CDs in boxes

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Last week we sent off 1550 Bach Players CDs, all assembled in the office, to the warehouse of our new distributor Codaex, in Belgium. We recycled boxes used for books. Read more

‘Detail in typography’ out of print

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We have sold the last copies of Jost Hochuli’s Detail in typography (2008, reprinted in 2009). Demand for this book continues, but we have decided not to make a reprint. Production costs for this book are high, and they are not helped by currency fluctuations over the last few years. (Since 2009, the Swiss Franc has risen by 25 per cent against the UK pound.) At the same time, the book trade – ever more distorted by the deep discounts demanded by the internet sellers – makes publication of such books, which four years ago was already difficult, now look impossible without subventions from somewhere.

Update, July 2015:
We happy to announce that our English-language edition of Detail in typography is being taken over by Éditions B42 in Paris, and should be published later this year. Éditions B42 already publishes the French-language edition, Le detail en typographie (at present out of print, but due to be reissued). Their edition of the original German-language edition, Das Detail in der Typografie, has just appeared.

In translation

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One of the most gratifying and interesting moments in book-publishing is seeing a book of ours issued by another publisher in a translated edition. It is not just the language that needs to be translated. As part of the publishing agreement, we will supply files for all the pictures: but the treatment of pictures remains in the hands of the other publisher. The size of pages, the paper, the binding, and all the other aspects of a book’s material composition are all open for determination by the translating publisher. All of which can provide a pleasant surprise. Often one may feel that the other publisher has refined or improved aspects of the material; or at least their resolution of the problems provides an illuminating alternative to what we did. This week copies of the Korean edition of Christopher Burke’s Active literature, published by Workroom Press in Seoul, arrived here in London. Read more

Martens book prized


The second printing of the Karel Martens: printed matter sold out in Europe within a few months in 1997. Made in the summer of 1996 for the award of the Heineken Prize for Art to Karel Martens, it was a book of that particular moment. The moment has passed, and we won’t make a further reprint. Remaining copies may still be obtainable from US bookshops. In competition with around 680 other books from all over the world, the book was awarded the highest prize – the ‘Goldene Blätter’ – at the book-design exhibition at the Leipzig Book Fair in March 1998. There will be a reprise of this event at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.

Summer holidays 2018


The office is closed for orders for books and CDs, from 12 to 28 July. Orders received during this period will be dispatched on 30 July.

Price reductions 2018


From today we have reduced the price of a number of books: At, Autonomy, Jazzpaths, and Modern typography in Britain (Typography papers 8).

Office closed for orders, 11–17 December


The Hyphen Press office is closed this week. Orders for books or music CDs will be processed and sent out on Monday 18 December.

‘Musical offering’ arrived

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We have been assembling the discs, booklets, and packs for our next Hyphen Press Music CD, ‘Musical offering’, to be released on 26 May (in the UK, and a week later in continental Europe). This will be an unusual CD in the series: devoted to one work, with just one other piece (a trio sonata by Buxtehude) added in The Bach Players’ spirit of providing context and variety. J.S. Bach’s Musikalisches Opfer is one of his major pieces, recorded many times. In this recording, the parts of the work – sometimes assumed to have been assembled arbitrarily to suit the music’s first printer – are played here in an order that supports their rhetorical unfolding. Silas Wollston, the groups’ keyboardist, explains this in his essay ‘Bach the orator’, given in the CD booklet. The cover image on the packet comes from Adolph Menzel’s historical painting (1850–2) of the scene of the Musikalisches Opfer (1747). For the first time we have used four-colour printing for the booklet, to do justice to Menzel’s painting. For the packet, as with the rest of the series, we have stuck with two colours. Read more

‘Winter light’ – a new book

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A couple of months ago, just before Christmas, we published a new book: Winter light, and other poems by Jane Howard. This small book (a single section of 32 pages, stapled and with a jacket wrapped around) collects poems written over many years. The author, who is an old friend of this imprint, is sparing in her production and notably self-critical. In a note at the end of the book she explains: ‘The poems I have chosen here are typically traces of small moments of perception, of those unpredictable occasions when something experienced more observantly or acutely than usual demands to be given form.’ We are very glad to publish this modest, but we think distinguished work. Produced in a small edition, some copies are for general sale. Read more

Website sales before Christmas

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The Hyphen Press office is closed now until 24 December. This means that during these days we cannot process and send out any orders made from this website for books and CDs. Any orders received now will be attended to promptly in the days immediately after Christmas.

‘Richard Hollis designs for the Whitechapel’: progress

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Our Richard Hollis designs for the Whitechapel is perhaps the most anticipated, most delayed work on which we have worked. Christopher Wilson’s book was first announced to the world in November 2012, as due for publication in spring 2013. Since then the work has grown and become elaborated. It is, in part, an experiment in how to discuss graphic design, without any obvious precedent. The author is also the designer, image processor, and page-maker. This concentration of labour in the hands of one person makes the experiment possible, though it also requires a Stakhanovite commitment. The book – main text, notes, pictures, short captions, extended narrative captions, cross-references, appendixes, bibliography, and more – is now done, and we are working on the index; a final proof-reading will follow. With the printer there will be tests for printing pictures on the chosen paper. The binder will make a dummy, and the glueing of the book-block will be tested. We expect to go into material production in January and to publish in April 2017. Your patience is certainly appreciated here. Read more

‘Sleepers awake!’ arrived

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The printed materials for the next Hyphen Press Music CD have arrived in the office – we assemble and shrink-wrap these CDs here. This is Sleepers awake!, in which The Bach Players perform two settings by Dieterich Buxtehude of the ‘Wachet auf’ text (‘wake up, the voice calls us’), and one by J.S. Bach – as well as some fascinating, connected extra works. The Bach cantata is one of his most glorious and irresistible: recorded many times, but never so freshly. The official release date is 1 December, just in time for the Advent season and Christmas. Read more